How To Get Rid of Head Lice | 10 Easy & Effective Ways


Head lice are every parent’s worst nightmare. Not only is the experience discomforting, but it can also lead to risks of malnourishment in the child, especially since lice are parasitic. However, you need to realize that before you get mad about your child coming back home with lice, you need to settle them down and get rid of the problem before it spreads to the people around them.

Knowing the right ways to get rid of Head lice can help you exponentially and help navigate the removal within just a few days to a week without hurting anyone in the process.

It is always good to seek medical help if the infestation is beyond control. However, we’d always recommend you start at home and then consider other options. For your convenience, we have sorted out some of the best ways to eliminate lice from the affected individual’s scalp.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Woodlice? | Top Pest Control Strategies

List of Ways to Get Rid of Head Lice

Head lice are a very common parasite that can infest in the scalps of children aged between 3 to 11 years old. It can affect adults too. However, it is generally transferable in children and infects children more than adults. Also, another common misconception about lice is that it only affects curly and dense hair. However, the truth is that it can easily infest any individual, despite their hair texture.

1. Look Out for Symptoms

Your small child won’t know they have head lice until someone points it out to them. So, as a parent, you need to be responsible for the same. If you find your child consistently scratching their scalp or complaining about feeling something crawling on their scalp, you must check them for head lice.

Sometimes, it could be a phantom feeling; however, it is a lice infestation for the most part. The earlier you catch it, the easier it becomes to treat the condition and get rid of the lice.

2. Find the Reason for the Spread

If your child has come back home with a head full of lice, you need to understand where it came from. If it was other children at schools, informing the authorities is important so that the spread doesn’t keep progressing and taking a turn for the worse. 

The most common transfer mode of head lice is through direct head-to-head contact. So, try to find the cause of the spread and examine the infestation’s extent before you get upset with your child. It is not their fault. Also, head lice are parasitic and need blood every 12-24 hours. So, getting rid of that source from them will kill them eventually.

3. Avoid Physical Contact

Yes, you need to plan things first. Since head lice are so highly contagious, you need to find ways to prevent any and every kind of physical contact with the child. Containing the spread is the easiest way to get rid of them for good. Sometimes, you might not know about the infestation till very late. In that case, check everyone’s scalp in the household for traces of lice.

If you find that the spread is contained just to one individual, it becomes easier to fight back the issue and eventually get rid of it without worrying. As an additional layer of protection, we’d recommend disinfecting the sites where your child has been hanging out in the house.

4. Make the Place Inhabitable

Getting rid of your child’s hair can seem like the worst nightmare. However, if the infestation has gone beyond control, we’d recommend cutting your child’s hair completely bald or as short as possible. The lice need the hair to cling onto the scalp and then leverage it to suck blood from the host.

Cutting the hair makes that impossible and gets rid of their hiding spots. It becomes easier for you to clean their scalp and get rid of them in no time at all.

5. Understand & Apply the Over the Counter Medications

OTC medications are effective and highly potent in getting rid of the lice in no time at all. However, what you need to realize is the fact that not many people know how they work. Simply applying the shampoo once on the scalp will not get rid of the infestation. Most OTC shampoos can’t even kill the nits, so you have to reapply the shampoo a few more times to get rid of them once they hatch.

Also, make sure you check the ingredients in the medicated shampoo. If you are wondering how to get rid of lice, be assured that the pyrethrins in the shampoo do the job right. However, many children are often allergic to the source of this chemical. If that is the case with your child, you might have to look for some other alternative.

6. Clean the Sources of Contagion

Once you know that your child has lice, you must check their clothes, bedding, and even their backpacks and other items that they use regularly. If they are fabric materials that can be washed, do the same immediately and throw them in the washing machine with some hot water.

The boiling water will get rid of the infestation in no time. Also, vacuum the spots around their room to get rid of any remnants of the parasite.

7. Prevent Your Child from Going to School

Yes, not many parents realize this, but even after you have used a delousing shampoo on your child’s scalp, they still have risks of transferring the parasitic lice to some other children at school. Instead of leaving them out of the house and risking the health of another child, make sure you keep your child away from school for few days.

Keep them on regular lice watch and check the progress. Only when your child is completely lice-free, and there are no remnant nits on the scalp should you allow them to go back to school.

8. Use a Finer Needle Comb

There are lice combs available in the market that come with close-spaced needles and are very fine to brush through the hair. The small and non-negligible gap between each needle is quite effective in getting rid of the lice every time you brush the hair.

It is also great to remove the smaller units that are often not easily removed with the shampoo and other medications. Use this comb a few times a day to get rid of as much lice as possible. Sometimes, if the infestation is not that bad, doing just this is enough to eliminate the lice.

9. Try Some Olive Oil

Olive Oil
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Not many realize this, but oils like olive oil and coconut oils have amazing benefits in getting rid of the lice from the scalp by suffocating them inside. The heavy texture of the oil suffocates these parasites and plugs them inside the scalp, killing them in the process.

Make sure that you comb the hair well with a fine-toothed comb and then generously slather some olive or coconut oil in the scalp to get rid of the lice.

10. Use Blow Dryers

Besides the live lice, the nits are very difficult to get rid of. If nothing is working out, the last way would be to use a hot air blast in the hair. It has proven benefits and helps get rid of the nits to an extent. The direct heat from the blow dryer has proven benefits in getting rid of 98% of the lice and nits.

However, make sure you do this outdoors and keep your hair shielded with some shower caps when you are blasting the heat from the dryer.

If you are struggling with getting rid of lice, we hope this article gives you all the insights you need to know. Just ensure that you focus on the steps and follow the right remedy before things turn for the worse. If something doesn’t work out at all, contacting a doctor is your safest bet.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Booklice? | Top 10 Natural Remedies

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Get Rid of Lice Fast?

The quickest way to get rid of lice is by shaving all the hair off and then using a delousing shampoo to get rid of the rest.

Can Lice Live in Pillows & Sheets?

To survive, Lice needs to suck on human blood every 12-24 hours. So, if they aren’t living on a human host, they will die.

Can Lice Go Inside Your Ear?

Head lice are often seen in the tuft of hair present right over the ears or even around the nape of the neck. So, make sure you clean those areas or shave the hair off.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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